It’s that time of year when our kiddos are heading back to school, and that means we’re all looking for recipes that do double duty!
My recipe for you today is an easy weeknight meal during the back to school chaos, an excellent lunch box meal (for school or work!), can be made weeks in advance, is an easy way to sneak in veggies, can be made in endless varieties and served multiple ways.
These Roasted Florentine Meatballs are sure to be a hit at your dinner table – and I’ve got a meatless option for you, too!
Roasted Florentine Meatballs
1 pound Ground Beef (or use ground chicken or turkey)
1/2 Onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, chopped and divided
1 cup crushed Pork Rinds (or your favorite gluten-free breadcrumbs)
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated and divided
2 Eggs, beaten
1 box frozen Spinach, thawed and drained of excess water
2 splashes Almond Milk (or milk of your choice)
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Lots of Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, onion, 3 cloves garlic, crushed pork rinds, 1/2 cup cheese, eggs, spinach, milk and lots of salt & pepper. Roll into balls (I do golf ball size) and place on a lightly greased baking pan (I always line with foil for easy cleanup!). Drizzle about a tablespoon of EVOO over all of the balls. Roast in the oven about 20 minutes or until brown.
Notes: Some stores carry pork rind “bread crumbs,” or you can easily just crush them in a bag or pulse for a few seconds in a food processor until the pork rinds reach a bread crumb consistency.
Cheese can be omitted without substitution to make these meatballs dairy-free. A flax egg can be used instead of eggs.
Variations: Dice or shred bell peppers or carrots, add riced broccoli or cauliflower, use your favorite greens. Add in your favorite herbs and spices. Add in your favorite cheese.
Once you have the method down, you can make any variety of meatballs you like! If you’re vegetarian or just cutting back on meat, we’ve got you covered with this delicious Meatless Meatball recipe.
1/2 cup Raw Almonds
1 head Broccoli, broken into florets and steamed (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 Egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a mini-muffin tin with olive oil or cooking spray.
Place the almonds in a food processor and process them until they’re coarsely ground; transfer to a mixing bowl.
Place the broccoli florets in the food processor and pulse until chopped. Combine the ground almonds, broccoli, cheese, and garlic in the mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then fold in the egg.
Form the broccoli mixture into 12 balls, squeezing them a little to make sure they hold their shape and place each one in a cup in the muffin tin.
Bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown and slightly crispy on the outside. Remove the tin from the oven and cool for 5 minutes; to remove the meatballs, run a butter knife along the edges of each muffin cup to loosen before gently popping them out.